Law firm advertising doesn’t work like it used to.
Your potential clients ignore traditional methods of advertising, such as billboards, television commercials, radio spots and print ads. What your potential clients don’t ignore is your online presence — things like your website design and the amount of information that you provide.
But substantive pages and blog posts aren’t the only way to interact with your potential clients. One way attorneys should build their online presence is by creating online marketing collateral. Here’s why it matters, what your options are, and how you can get started creating it.
Why Online Marketing Collateral Matters For Lawyers
Marketing collateral may seem like an “extra” for law firm websites, but it’s an important part of your overall marketing strategy, and it’s valuable to your firm. Here’s why.
Collateral gives attorneys more authority.
Just as writing regular blog content helps establish your law firm’s reputation and gives you authority, so does marketing collateral — particularly because we’re living in an “information society.”
We used to be part of an information economy. That’s a culture that sees knowledge — not products — as having significant value. Information economies rely so much on information that the majority of workers take information-related jobs and create information-based products.
But what follows information economies are information societies, and that’s where we are now. Information societies don’t pay for information because the don’t rely on it as the most valuable material. Instead, they create, distribute and use information. Because we’re now part of an information society, your potential clients don’t just like access to free information — they expect it.
There’s an opportunity here for lawyers to capitalize on. Words are the lawyers’ tool, and if you choose to pair your expertise with multiple ways to demonstrate what you know (whether that’s a blog post, an ebook, an infographic), you put yourself in a position to become a leader in your practice area.
Collateral helps lawyers build relationships with clients.
Collateral gives you a chance to create a connection between you and a potential client, even before they contact you. When a potential client downloads and reads an ebook, learns new facts from an infographic, or is inspired to share something they learned in an email series you wrote, you’ve carved out some real estate in their mind. Visual demonstrations are compelling. By providing those extra materials, you both implicitly and explicitly give potential clients the benefits of having you represent them.
Your law firm’s website is often the very first thing that a potential client sees about your law firm. The information you provide (or don’t provide) leaves an impression. You want to give your potential clients a good impression and information they can use. You also want to give them choices. Having choices are important to your potential clients, and by providing them with extra materials, you’re giving them choices for how they process the information you provide.
The benefit in giving web visitors choices is that it helps to keep them engaged. If the options are “Call my law firm” or “Leave my website,” that’s not very compelling. But when the options are:
- Call me, or
- Subscribe to my newsletter, or
- Download an e-book I wrote, or
- Learn something new from this infographic…
Then you’re giving your potential clients multiple opportunities to engage with you.
Collateral impresses clients and differentiates law firms from the competition.
Collateral helps to build a relationship between you and your potential client, but when collateral is done well, it also impresses people. It gives your law firm another opportunity to deliver your unique selling proposition. It sets you apart from your competitors. Traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore — people actively ignore ads. They skip over television commercials, turn down their radio dials and pay their music streaming services to avoid ads, and now they even use ad-blockers to block ads on the internet.
Yet, one thing they don’t ignore is the content that answers their questions — in fact, that may be how they found you in the first place. That content can arrive in many forms: blog posts, substantive pages, and online marketing collateral.
It’s an easy and cost-effective way to differentiate yourself from your competitors who either a) haven’t discovered the value of online marketing collateral for lawyers or b) aren’t doing it well. You’ll wow your potential clients both in terms of information quality and how it’s presented.
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Online Marketing Collateral Options For Law Firms
There are plenty of choices for attorneys that want to create online marketing collateral for their law firms. Here are just a few.
Law Firm Email Newsletters
Email newsletters can be quite beneficial for law firms in that it helps you maintain relationships with potential clients and distribute information reguarly, which can help to keep your audience engaged. Potential clients will come to expect a weekly email in their inbox. Plus, emails are easy to share, which means you can maximize the distance your information goes.
To learn more about the best ways to send your email newsletter when its ready, check out our series on email marketing and marketing automation for lawyers.
Ebooks are just books that show up in an electronic, PDF format. The styling is similar — ebooks can and often do feature numbered pages, a table of contents, pictures and graphics. The benefit of an ebook for your client is tremendous: they get access to quality information instantly. They don’t have to travel to a bookstore to get it; they don’t have to wait for it to be delivered to their house. They can download it to their desktop, tablet, laptop or smartphone. If you create them yourself, they’re also cost-effective for your law firm — you’re not paying for printing costs.
Aside from the fact that they often provide good information, there’s something about the word “book” that has value to potential clients. Evergreen posts and blog posts give you authority — and you should be writing that content regularly — but ebooks can give you authority, too. They can help to build your brand and generate new leads while they give important, useful information to your readership.
Law Firm Infographics
Infographics can show up anywhere: free standing, within your ebooks or newsletters, in blog posts. They’re extremely versatile and fun to look at. People who read content on the web are highly distracted creatures and infographics keep peoples’ attention while providing information they can really use. They’re educational, entertaining, and useful.
Infographics are visual representations of information — data, facts and so forth — that present complex thoughts in an easily digestible way. There are billions of pieces of content out there on the web, and infographics are not only memorable, but they’re easily shareable, too.
The average reader on the web doesn’t read an entire blog post or webpage. They’re much more likely to scan it for the information that’s relevant to their case or problem. So, if you can catch their attention with a good infographic, they’re more likely to stay engaged with your law firm website.
How To Create Online Marketing Collateral For Your Law Firm
There are lots of tools on the web — many of them free — to help you make your own infographics, ebooks and email newsletters. Try Googling each topic and find the tool that you like best. If you’re strapped for time, the LawLytics content marketing department can create the newsletters, infographics and ebooks that will enhance your law firm’s content.